5 Takeaways From the June 2017 Auctions

New records for Kandinsky and a 19th-century Chinese painting makes $50 million.

Wassily Kandinsky, Murnau – Landschaft mit Grünem Haus (1909). Courtesy Sotheby's.

Data collected from the artnet Price Database offers crucial insight into the current state of the art market. In this monthly series, with the help of the Price Database, we aim to fill you in on some of the most interesting facts, figures, and stories revealed by our data. In June, new records were set in China, as sales of modern art continue to soar.



Wassily Kandinsky, <i>Bild mit Weissen Linien</i> (1913). Courtesy Sotheby's.

Wassily Kandinsky, Bild mit Weissen Linien (1913). Courtesy Sotheby’s.


1. Following their record-breaking Basquiat sale in May, Sotheby’s continued their streak on June 21 during the Impressionist and modern art evening sale at their London saleroom. Two Wassily Kandinsky paintings (Bild mit Weissen Linien and Murnau – Landschaft mit Grünem Haus) now hold the top spot for the most expensive Kandinsky paintings ever sold at auction.

2. Auction houses in Beijing offered the highest number of lots in June. With a 56 percent sell-through rate and sales totaling over $1.14 billion, it was also last month’s top-selling city. Beijing-based China Guardian Auctions Co., Poly International Auction Co., and Beijing Council International Auction Co. all had the highest total sales in June.

Huang Bin Hong, <i>Yellow mountain</i> Courtesy China Guardian.

Huang Bin Hong, Yellow mountain (1899) Courtesy China Guardian.

3. The highest-selling artist last month was Huang Binhong. Days before Kandinsky broke auction records, China Guardian sold the nearly six-foot-long ink scroll, 黄山汤口 立轴 设色纸本 (Yellow mountain), for CNY 345 million ($50.6 million) on June 19 during the Grand View: Chinese Painting Highlight – Modern auction. The sale also marks the most expensive artwork for this artist.

Pablo Picasso, <i>Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse)</I> (1934). Courtesy Christie’s London

Pablo Picasso, Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse) (1934). Courtesy Christie’s London

4. Pablo Picasso had the most lots offered in June. A total of 493 works were offered internationally by Christie’s London, Tajan, Galerie Kornfeld, and many others. The artist also had the highest sales by volume, boasting $77.4 million in sold artworks last month.

An antique Tibetan Buddha figure, sold at China Guardian on June 20 for $8.6 million. Courtesy China Guardian.

An antique Tibetan Buddha figure, sold at China Guardian on June 20 for
$8.6 million. Courtesy China Guardian.


5.There were 26,413 decorative art lots added to the database throughout June. The highest-selling lot was an antique Tibetan Buddha figure, sold during the “Highlights of Buddhist Art-Zhantan Lin” auction at China Guardian on June 20 for CNY 58.6 million ($8.6 million).

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